The oldest paper, logging and packaging corporation on the list – and perhaps in the world – is Stora Enso. Beginning in Finland in 1288 as a copper mining company, it was the first preserved share between the company Stora Kopparberg and the Bishop of Vasteras. This partnership offered significant profits for both parties, and the company’s growth continued throughout the 17th century, with Stora Kopparberg providing two-thirds of the world’s copper.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the company made the transition from copper to iron ore and became a modern incorporated shareholder named Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB. After its incorporation in 1862, the company expanded into pulp and paper production; currently, it remains one of Europe’s primary paper and paperboard producers.
Throughout its complex history, one family transitioned ownership over a generation – although this is a short time span considering the company’s longevity, it nonetheless makes Stora Enso the only family-owned (for a time) company on our list.
With more than 25,000 employees in 35 countries, the modified Stora Enso is a leading international provider of renewable solutions in biomaterials and paper products.